TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A gas station in Taunton is temporarily closed as crews work to clean up a fuel leak that occurred almost a month ago.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) estimates that 31,000 gallons of gasoline were released into the environment from Amaro’s gas station on Middleboro Avenue in late August.
MassDEP said it’s been working with the city and the owners of the property since being notified on Aug. 25 that gas was found to be leaking from one of the pumps.
City officials say the leak has been contained, but safety measures were put in place out of an abundance of caution, including having a firefighter and police officer stationed at the site.
Cleanup consultants hired by the property owners are scheduled to be at the station every day for several weeks to pump gas out of the sumps installed there, according to MassDEP.
Emergency response personnel from MassDEP have also been on site several times a week to monitor the situation and test to make sure there are no gas vapors present at nearby properties.
“All the other businesses in that area are open and have been tested. There are no vapors in those businesses, and they’re safe,” Fire Chief Steven Lavigne said. “All the residents and businesses in the area are safe, and we will continue monitoring the situation.”
MassDEP said it hasn’t found any impacts on the Taunton River.
Area residents told 12 News they were confused and concerned, having been smelling gasoline for weeks.
“It’s not comfortable for me to go to sleep at night thinking, ‘What’s going to happen?'” said Cassandra Barreiro, who has an 8-month-old daughter.
Barreiro said she felt there’s been a lack of communication.
“I never received a letter, nothing, so if it’s that serious of a safety issue, I should have been notified about it before all this started happening,” she added.
Officials have not given a timeline on when the work is expected to be finished, and no word on what may have caused the gas leak.